03.09.2011 27 °C
After many emotional goodbyes we headed off to the airport to board our flight - we managed to get an upgrade through our Quantus contacts, we enjoyed a spacious flight with lots of leg room and free champagne We enjoyed every moment of it, as we knew this may be our last bit of luxury for a while!!
When arriving in Bankgkok, it felt like a million miles away from home, although cheap, we felt like the only Westerners in a big city, but we embraced the culture and decided to head out to explore - first waiting for it to get dark of course because this made the little backstreets look far more inviting!! Bangkok is also famous for the 'tuk tuk' which is the equivalent to London's Rickshaw (pedal Taxi) but in Bangkok it's motorised and they drive like absolute nutters! We took one for about 2 miles for only 10 Baht (20pence) later to find out that he receives a backhander from the restaurant he dropped us at. This isnt a big problem unless you order the most expensive item on the menu! (thanks Nat!)
After a well earned sleep we got up the next day and began looking through our guide books, we decided to head to Chatuchak Market, which is a huge market (35 acres to be precise!) in Bangkok selling everything you could think of. We managed to get ourselves there on the tube, 15 stops for only 80p each way, then we spent the day wandering around the market, stopping to sample the local cusine and the cheap beers.
We then headed back to our hotel where we met our tour guide and the group that we will be heading to Chiang Mai with. After a brief chat about the trip we all headed out to a local restaurant for dinner together (bit of a bonding session!) We had a lovely meal, and beer all for only 3 English pounds!! The heavens then opened and it poured for the whole evening, but we didnt let that stop us heading out to the Kho San Raod (famous for travellers wanting to party!) with the group for some cheap drinks. Finishing the night of course with a ping pong show, which was an experience!!
We are now off to see the reclining Buddha before boarding our 13.5hour sleeper train to take us up to Chiang Mai in the North to begin our trek!